Shadow Knows, The

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
1994
Original Running Time:
107
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
99
Time Cut:
8
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
The Shadow Knows celebrates the gorgeous sets and costumes (using the Shout Factory blu-ray as source) and Jerry Goldsmith's score (adding cues from the Intrada CDs). Ying-Ko's backstory is shown through three dreams, letting the film open in medias res on the bridge. The dreams build up in awfulness: recurring reminders of his ruthless past.
One of the most influential and long-lived pulp characters, The Shadow has been a radio drama host/character, the hero of 325 novels, and has appeared in comics, TV shorts and films since 1930. Building on Walter Gibson's stories from 1939-1940, The Shadow fights his nemesis, Shiwan Khan, who plans to take over the world by holding New York City to ransom with an atom bomb. Using his power "to cloud men’s minds”, the Shadow comes to the city’s rescue with guns blazing.
Intention:
The Shadow is a good movie that could have been a great movie, which would have been the start of a franchise. We could have had more stories of his agents, a guest-appearance by Doc Savage, an origin story showing how the WW1 flier ended up in Asia. Aah, if only!
Some of the movie's flaws are beyond repair, e.g. the lack of more footage of the final "Mirror" battle, but others can be much improved. The over-long introduction can be removed (repurposed in three short flashbacks), the inconsistent humor can be tightened (apparently director Mulcahy had quite different ideas than writer Koepp and producer Bregman, resulting in an inconsistent tone).
This edit is an effort to lift the movie, if not from good to great (I can't shoot new footage with the actors), then from good to better.
Additional Notes:
The Shadow has many similarities with the, nowadays more famous, Batman. Some differences stand out that make The Shadow a more interesting character for me: - His large organization of agents limits his reliance on police information and often gives him an edge over the police. The Shadow is a true vigilante who does not trust the police to get the job done right, as opposed to The Batman who vaccilates between vigilante and police-approved liaison. It's not that I prefer vigilanteism over following the law, I just prefer the logical consistency. If Batman is a police liaison, why not move the batcave into police headquarters and train the police force to work the equipment? Imagine how much more effective they'd be. - The Shadow's catchphrase is not just a marketing slogan, he truly knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men because he WAS such an evil man. His justice is dispassionate because he isn't looking for revenge, he is coldly trying to cleanse New York of the criminals that the police have been unable to stop. The Batman came to crimefighting as an innocent person seeking revenge for his murdered parents. Not objective at all and counter-intuitively MORE questionable whether this person should be a vigilante at all. - Both crime-fighters typically apprehend the villains in their stories, but Batman keeps fighting the same characters over and over again. Is there a catch-and-release program for super-villains in Gotham? What gives?! When The Shadow stops villains, they rarely come back. Even his nemesis, Shiwan Khan, only appeared in four stories at the end of which he died a fiery death. Kudos to Walter Gibson and subsequent writers for coming up with a never-ending line of villains instead of repeating a small cadre of super-villains over and over.
Other Sources:
Intrada's The Shadow double CD for unused Goldsmith cue "The Mirrors (Alternate Version)", and clean versions of Poppy Fields and Chest Pains.
Pulp and comics art for scans in opening titles (thank you W.M Kaluta for introducing me to The Shadow through your work!).
Universal Studios' logo from their 1931 The Shadow short "A Burglar To The Rescue".
Special Thanks:
Bionicbob for making his excellent black-and-white edit The Shadow Strikes and for his feedback on my interpretation.
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
1.78:1 (1080p)
5.1 AC3
English subtitles
alternate posters
Editing Details:
Bionicbob's cutlist for The Shadow Strikes was my starting point.
The goal isn't a shorter story, it's a more consistent story. So I cut as little as possible.
I cut the jokes which I found inconsistent with the main tone of the movie.
The movie opens in New York City because the whole Tibet story took too long and did not hold my attention. 2'40" of the 8'20" opening is re-used as later dreams (out of a total 8 minutes cut, almost 6 of those are from the opening sequence).
Cuts and Additions:
- New opening credits, using images of the Shadow pulp covers and comics and different font (AR Bonnie). Poppy Fields is trimmed at the end to match the duration. It was fun to search through Shadow archives for the most relevant images. I had to discard many more than I ended up using.
- Story opens on the NYC bridge: opening origin is cut here and used later in flash-back dreams. Location title card changed from "New York City, Seven Years Later" to "New York City, 1936" (the year isn't said in the movie, but one scene shows a movie theater marquee advertising "The Invisible Ray" with Karloff and Lugosi).
- On bridge: mute "I hate heavy lifting" (lame).
- On bridge: small trim to Duke's gunfire (too much).
- On bridge: small trim to Shadow shooting at cement block (he looked comically excited: wrong tone).
- In cab: cut Tam's "ask my wife" and Shadow's "NOOO!" response (wrong comedic tone).
- Cut Tam waving goodbye to taxi.
- Insert Dream #1 "I am your teacher" at fireplace.
- In museum: cut "Why have I not heard of him" (made the museum employee appear ignorant).
- In museum: trim the flapping sarcophagus hinges, so the guard holsters his gun once not twice (made him look dumb).
- In museum: cut guard's "We're closed." and "Yes, my khan." Also cut Shiwan's repeat of "join me or die".
- Message in vacuum pipe: trim some piping section (for pacing).
- In Tam's lab: cut Tam's "Hey, that is catchy" to Cranston's "Atomic Bomb" (The term was known: H.G. Wells coined it in his 1914 book "The World Set Free").
- At Cobalt Club: cut commissioner Gordon's sputtering "Oh, waiter" during Margo's plea. The man may be dim but he's not (that) rude.
- At Rheinhardt's lab: cut "I'm not asking you to eat a burger." from the food-choice exchange between the guards (the joke went on too long).
- In Rheinhardt's lab: mute "next time you get to be on top", and trim battle for pacing.
- Outside Rheinhardt's lab building: cut Shrevnitz "I sense someone is coming" (lame joke).
- On street just before Chinatown: extend (muffled) street noises from Chinatown in the preceding shot on the street (smoother transition).
- In Shiwan Khan's restaurant: cut Cranston's "That's the U.S. of A. you're talkin' about" (the Shadow saw so much wrong in society, I don't think he was a poster boy for American Exceptionalism in the 20th century). This, unfortunately, forced me to also cut Khan's eye-rolling "... ruling the world".
- In restaurant: cut "oh that knife" (Khan's speech flows better this way).
- Departing restaurant: cut 1/2 second of Khan going for the window (visual continuity).
- add Dream #2 "battlefield" into "face-off" dream.
- In Cranston's guest-room: cut 1 instance of Cranston saying "last night we agreed" (wrong comedic tone).
- Wide shot of Empire State Building: erase the antenna from the top of the building (time period error: that was only added in 1953), and mute Cranston's pun when sailor jumps off building (wrong kind of funny).
- Inside giant water tank: trim trapped Shadow (for pacing).
- Outside water tank: cut Cranston's smile after Margo says "You called?"
- Place Dream #3 "shoot through him" during fever sleep (replacing the "battlefield" dream which got moved into Dream #2).
- In Hotel Monolith: cut Claymore's "Betcha wish you were nicer to me ...".
- In the hotel: trim Claymore's fight with the Shadow (for pacing).
- Disarming the bomb: cut most of bomb rolling around the hotel (wrong comedic tone: with different music this could be in a Chaplin movie).
- The Lady from Shanghai-inspired mirrors climax. The final battle was shortened because Universal Studios suffered earthquake damage during filming and decided not to rebuild the mirror set. They used only the footage they already had. The result feels truncated. I would have loved to extend the final battle, with a longer build-up of suspense before the mirror-shattering action. Alas, the only thing I can do is to rebalance the build-up a little by shifting some shots so that the bomb story wraps up earlier to create a slightly longer continuous final battle. I mirrored one shot (pun intended) and removed one with poor SFX. No significant changes because there just isn't enough material!
- Aftermath: tiny trim to the Commisioner looking up at the hotel (the actor looked too high up the second time).
- Aftermath: add "Upstate New York" location title card to the mental hospital, as a nod to Doc Savage's "Crime College" (this Easter Egg really jumped out at me, I don't understand how reviewers didn't pick up on it).
- Closing credits: Cut awful green-eyed Shadow drawing. I never liked that image they made for the movie poster. That's not my Shadow! Instead, I added the Shadow's laugh to transition into the credits.
- Closing credits: Replace "Original Sin" with Goldsmith's unused version of "The Mirrors", followed by (slightly trimmed) Frontal Lobotomy.
- Added FE logo.
- Added English subtitles.
- Not added: shot of Shadow on bridge w CGI cape (from Taylor Dayne music video), because picture quality is too low.
- Not added: I tried Winifred Shaw's 1935 rendition of "Lullaby of Broadway" for the second half of the end credits (it's sung and whistled in the movie by both Shiwan Khan and the museum guard) but it wasn't the right fit.
- Not cut: Khan and Cranston talking about the "nice tie". I like the dry wit.
Cover art by lapis molari (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

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Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.9(7)
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10.0(7)
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10.0(7)
Narrative
 
9.4(7)
Enjoyment
 
9.7(7)
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9.8
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9.0
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10.0
What a good edit! This is easily the best form the movie has seen. It feels significantly closer to the pulps and does a wonderful job of getting rid of some of the awful jokes and flaws of the film. Highly recommended to anyone who even saw anything good that stood out to them in the original film. This is an objective improvement, and it is created very lovingly.

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(Updated: July 15, 2021)
Overall rating
 
9.7
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9.0
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10.0
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10.0
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9.0
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10.0
An excellent fanedit!

I had, totally coincidentally, recently re-watched 1994's "The Shadow" for the first time in well over a decade and walked away feeling it was a movie that could be improved with a solid re-edit. Lo and behold, I stumble across "The Shadow Knows" and find Lapis Molari has addressed every issue I had with the film! The movie now starts where it logically should, in New York, and the at times painful prologue sequence has been excised and repurposed as dream sequences. Well done! The new opening credit sequence is creative and well-implemented, and considering I'd just seen the theatrical cut recently I was astounded at how seamless the cuts were.

As noted in the change notes, the most noticeable - for me, probably because I'd just seen the theatrical cut - are the cuts to the finale, which do make it feel a bit rushed but it works well despite that. My biggest nitpick is something the editor could do nothing about: the fanedit is in 1.78:1 aspect ratio as presented in the Shout Factory blu-ray and not the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Aside from that, excellent!

Definitely recommended!

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Yes
Format Watched?
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Owner's reply July 15, 2021

The Shout Factory bluray changed the 1.85:1 theatrical aspect ratio into 1.78:1 by opening up the matte (nothing was cut left or right, instead a little was added top and bottom). If you prefer the theatrical ratio, you can crop the edit to match it.

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(Updated: July 08, 2021)
Overall rating
 
9.3
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
For me the question was not whether this edit would replace the theatrical cut for me, because that was already achieved by Bionic Bob's "The Shadow Strikes!" many years ago. The question was if this would be able to replace Bob's version. And the verdict is: it ultimately doesn't, but comes real close to doing so, and in any case stands proudly next to it.

On one hand, this has the advantage to being HD (which is both a blessing and a curse, given how terribly fake some of the backdrops look in hi-res), but on the other I tend to agree more with Bob's cuts, particularly the exchange about the tie. Yes, I know it was personal preference to keep it, and I get the intentions behind it (the old radio show inserted product placement this way), but for me it feels incredibly out of place. A good idea for me would have been keeping Khan asking about the tie, as it fits nicely with the "Nice tie" in a later scene (showing that Khan is loving modern American fashions just as he loved American bourbon), but then cutting to Lamont calling him a barbarian, without playing along. But again, personal preference is always respectable.

On the other hand, I absolutely LOVED the way the opening scenes were inserted as flashbacks. That was brilliantly executed (this did beat Bob in this aspect). I also appreciated the pulp covers in the new credits sequence, even if I would have wished for a few small tweaks. For instance, have the background fade to black under the title exactly when the music theme's strongest part kicks in and not slightly after, to give it more force. Incidentally, while I like the music Bob used for his opening, Goldsmith's awesome main theme (aka The Poppy Fields) is always welcome back.

UPDATE: After my original review, lapis molari went back and straightened out the technical issues I originally pointed out for a version 2 that's already uploaded. Except for the fact that the 1930s Universal logos remain pixelated due to a lower quality source, but that's very minor. The new version of the problematic "Next time you get to be on top" works much better, and of course gone is the flash frame. Now what was a very good edit already, turns into an excellent one. Highly recommended for every fan of pulp-style narratives.

And a big thank you for including subtitles! Since English is not my first language, having subs always makes things a lot easier for me.
Owner's reply July 15, 2021

Version 2 is ready with two improvements:
- removed loose frame in water tank (how embarrassing!), and
- trimmed the shot of the muted line "Next time you get to be on top" down to only 24 frames.

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(Updated: July 04, 2021)
Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
I don't know whether to be Happy or Angry?

I had done a fan edit of The Shadow many years ago, and had been quietly planning on doing a Redux version in HD....
...but now, I don't really have to as Lapis Molari's fan edit pretty much checks most of my boxes.

This is a very solid and entertaining fan edit. The audio and video quality is excellent. No jarring technical issues such as flash frames were noticed.

Most of the cringey/inappropriate humour has been expertly cut. Lines like "oh that knife" has been seamless removed. Though as Saltl4f3 commented there is one brief sequence where a line of awful dialogue by the Shadow was simply muted it and covered with music, when a simple cut would have worked a bit smoother.

To maintain the mystery of The Shadow, Molari removed the prologue origin and then re-wove it into movie at different points as flashbacks. While I am uncertain if all the chosen imagery works or if the flashbacks play a bit too modern (I think a soft focus framing might have worked better to fit with 1930s film production style), the idea is brilliant and improves the narrative tremendously.

Overall, a FUN fan edit that left me yearning for me. So I guess, in the end, I am HAPPY! lol

BRAVO!

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10.0
This was a great edit. I had some issues with the original film, which this edit almost completely remedies, such as the odd comedy and the slow opening. The new changes are so seamless at times that you wouldn't even know anything was different without looking at the changelogs; and some of the changes, such as the dream sequences, are so smartly done it's hard to believe it wasn't done this way to begin with.

A small detail I greatly appreciated was the inclusion of pulp and comic cover art during the opening credits. Very stylish.

The only part that caught my attention and made me do a double-take was the "next time you get to be on top" bit. In order to get rid of the joke, the line was muted, which creates an odd 1.5-2 second scene of the Shadow just menacingly staring at the guy's dead body in silence. Even though the goal was to erase the joke, it ended up still being kind of funny.

If you are a fan of The Shadow, then you owe it to yourself to see this version of the film.

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